Dyson urges Government to fund museum

James Dyson has called on the Government to provide core funding for the Design Museum to reinforce support it has generated from its own activities and commercial sponsorship.

“The museum has relied far too much on Terence [Conran] as provider. At present it lacks the core Government funding that it needs to continue its important role of encouraging a real understanding of design,” says Dyson, a trustee of the museum.

The Museum has an annual operating budget of 1.5m, 36 per cent of which comes from admissions and earned income, 34 per cent from private sponsorship and 16 per cent from the Conran Foundation. The only Government input over the past year has been 40 000 Special Projects Funding for its “loan boxes” scheme for schools.

Dyson’s plea coincides with the opening by Culture Secretary Chris Smith of the eight-year-old museum’s first dedicated education centre, funded largely by a 100 000 “gift” from the vacuum cleaner magnate.

Designed by CD Partnership, the Dyson Centre for Design Education and Training will occupy 86m2 on the museum’s top-floor.

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